I’ve mentioned/recommended Hope Clark in past blog posts, and today she’s kindly given me permission to reprint her Editor’s Thoughts from her latest Funds for Writers Newsletter. It echoes what I’ve been mulling over for several months now, and it’s well-worth a few minutes of any writer’s time. Keep reading for links to much, much more!
WHICH PROMOTIONS WORK AND WHICH DON'T
I'm of the mind, these days, that ninety percent of promotional efforts are wasted. The world is choked with books, writers, people fighting to make a living with their words. Anyone can write a book, and anyone can post one for sale. After years of promoting novels, even from a platform such as FundsforWriters, I've learned a hard lesson: Most promotional efforts do not work.
We read blogs and ask for advice, trying to figure out which marketing tools work best. Well, guess what? Any tool being touted as the best, any trick being shouted as effective, or any method being taught as the way to sell the most books . . . does not work. Why? Because everybody wants to do what works, and if everybody is doing it, then it becomes white noise and it quits working.
Those people telling you the best way to sell are making more money telling you how to sell than selling their own books, unless they are selling how-to-sell books. Who wants to be a party to feeding that monster?
Twitter is clogged with people shouting to buy their book. Sit back and watch your Twitter feed. It's been proven that saying "buy my book" never works, yet thousands continue to spew it.
Facebook has groups that do nothing but post books for sale, and a zillion people keep posting their books on those groups like they are going to sell those books to all those other authors trying to sell their books.
Goodreads is noisy with readers and authors trying to figure out what to do with Goodreads. Nobody has been able to say they've made tons of sales via Goodreads. Do the Google search if you don't believe me.
The bottom line is there is no one way to promote yourself, but you better be sure of the following no matter how you go about marketing:
1) Whatever you do has to be original, or originally implemented.
2) You better write a lot of books, because for someone to like you, they have to know they can binge on you if they find you interesting (a la Netflix Syndrome). Having one book only pisses them off.
3) You best be genuine in whatever you do.
It's just so sad to see writers travel from event to event, sitting at lines of tables, in a room of several dozen authors, thinking they will stand out. They might as well be hiding.
Quit asking others what they did, because it's already been done. Quit following the crowds.
Write your books. Promote in a manner that makes you feel good about yourself. And finally, be yourself. Readers are hungry for fresh and real. That's hard to find because everyone is struggling so hard to be like everyone else.
Hope publishes Funds for Writers, a free weekly newsletter packed with valuable insights and opportunities for writing/publishing. She also publishes Total Funds for Writers with expanded resources for the low cost of $15/26 issues. I’d encourage you to click the links and look into both.
She’s also the author of the Carolina Slade Mystery Series and the Edisto Beach Mystery Series. Check out her author page for more.